Earlier this Fall, Jay and I were invited to speak in Omaha, NE at Westside Church.  The pastor of that church, Curt Dodd, is the father-in-law of my college best friend and roommate, Catherine Cilker Dodd.  Since moving to California, and especially since my stroke, the chances to see this dear friend and her growing family have been few and far between.  "Cilker" and her husband Jonathan work both in full-time ministry and full-time farming.  It cannot be expressed how shocked I would have been in college if you told me my sophisticated, Northern California roommate would be living and working on a farm with 3 kids in 10 years time, and yet, I have never seen her more full of joy.

It's pretty sobering, but between the two of us, in the nearly 10 years since we graduated college, we have both been through some very challenging, life-changing circumstances.  Yet as we gathered around their farm table, literally eating the fruit of their harvest, sharing some laughs and some tears, with the sounds of our little ones playing outside, we knew that an even sweeter harvest had come...a harvest of hope.

(for more information on the Dodd's ministry, Keipos, a fascinating intersection of Christian mission and holistic agricultural practice, visit www.keipos.org)